The Southern Sierra Sights

Mono Lake

  • Hwy. 120 Map It
  • Lee Vining
  • Body Of Water/Waterfall
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 11/12/2015

Fodor's Review

Since the 1940s Los Angeles has diverted water from this lake, exposing striking towers of tufa, or calcium carbonate. Court victories by environmentalists have meant fewer diversions, and the lake is rising again. Although to see the lake from U.S. 395 is stunning, make time to visit South Tufa, whose parking lot is 5 miles east of U.S. 395 off Highway 120. There in summer you can join the naturalist-guided South Tufa Walk, which lasts about 90 minutes. The Scenic Area Visitor Center, off U.S. 395, is a sensational stop for its interactive exhibits and sweeping Mono Lake views. In town at U.S. 395 and 3rd Street, the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore, open from 9 to 5 daily, has more information about this beautiful area.

Sight Information


Hwy. 120, east of Lee Vining, Lee Vining, California, 93541, United States

Map It


760-647–3044-visitor center; 760-647–6595-info center


Sight Details:

  • Free
  • Visitor center early Apr.–Nov., daily 8–5; hrs vary at other times
  • Closed in winter

Published 11/12/2015


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